You can officially consider Houston Nutt‘s hat tossed into the Hilltop ring.
Very shortly after June Jones abruptly stepped down as SMU’s head coach, lists of potential replacements not-so-unexpectedly surfaced. The usual suspects given the type of job SMU is littered the lists, including a pair of young offensive coordinators with Texas ties — Clemson’s Chad Morris and Texas A&M’s Jake Spavital. The former is reportedly “very interested” in the vacancy.
Another name? Houston Nutt, who readily acknowledged that he would most certainly be interested in the Mustangs gig if the opportunity afforded itself.
The thing is, the 56-year-old Nutt — he’ll turn 57 in mid-October — is in the midst of his third season being removed from the sidelines. He does, though, possess more head-coaching experience than anyone who’ll likely be up for the job.
Nutt’s been a head coach at four different schools: Murray State (1993-96); Boise State (1997); Arkansas (1998-2007); and Ole Miss (2008-11). For whatever reason, Nutt has been toxic since he “resigned” from the Rebels in the midst of a 2-10 season (he was allowed to finish out the year), although the fact that he resigned as UA’s head coach amidst controversy and rumors only to take the same job at Ole Miss less than 24 hours later could have some athletic directors keeping their distance.
He would, though, bring some significant recruiting chops to the moribund program. Not only is the Arkansas native very familiar with high school football in the state of Texas, he’s well-versed in the recruiting ways in the talent-rich SEC footprint.
SMU went the retread route with June Jones and that didn’t exactly work out, so it’s hard to see them going that way twice in a row. They could, though, do a lot worse on the field than Nutt. Off the field? Yeah, there’s that.